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Natural Environmental Protection

Hi,

I would like to know the costs to our natural environment of using this VPN app and Bitdefender applications.

While this information is gathered,

I would like to see options to quantify costs,

open options to protect our natural environment

and know what efforts have staved-off use of the (parts of the) world-wide-web causing the most damage.


While Bitdefender may 'route traffic' how can it display a monitor of known costs?

What options may be employed to users to keep emissions from use to a minimum?

Answers

  • Flexx
    Flexx DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2023 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭ mod

    Quantifying the Environmental Costs of VPNs and Antivirus Software

    VPNs and antivirus software play a crucial role in protecting our digital privacy and security. However, their operation does not come without an environmental impact. The energy consumption associated with data centers, servers, and devices used to run these applications contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental concerns.

    Energy Consumption of VPNs and Antivirus Software

    VPNs typically consume more energy than standard internet browsing due to the encryption and decryption processes involved. The exact amount of energy consumed depends on various factors, including the VPN provider, the encryption protocol used, and the user's browsing activity. However, studies have shown that VPN usage can increase energy consumption by up to 20%.

    Antivirus software also consumes energy, but to a lesser extent than VPNs. The energy consumption of antivirus software depends on the type of scans performed and the frequency of updates. However, it is generally estimated that antivirus software consumes around 2% of a computer's total energy usage.

    Reducing the Environmental Impact of VPNs and Antivirus Software

    Several steps can be taken to reduce the environmental impact of VPNs and antivirus software:

    • Choose a VPN provider that is committed to sustainability. Some VPN providers are actively working to reduce their environmental footprint by using renewable energy sources, implementing energy-efficient practices, and offsetting their carbon emissions.
    • Use a VPN only when necessary. VPNs are not always required for secure browsing. Consider disabling your VPN when you are not accessing sensitive information or browsing websites that require your location.
    • Optimize your antivirus software settings. Adjust the scanning frequency and update schedule of your antivirus software to minimize its energy consumption.
    • Use energy-efficient devices. Opt for energy-efficient computers and other devices to reduce overall energy consumption.

    Open Options to Protect Our Natural Environment

    Apart from reducing the environmental impact of VPNs and antivirus software, there are broader initiatives that can help protect our natural environment:

    • Support renewable energy sources. Encourage the adoption of renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal power to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
    • Promote sustainable practices. Encourage businesses and individuals to adopt sustainable practices, such as reducing waste, conserving water, and using eco-friendly products.
    • Advocate for environmental policies. Support policies that promote environmental protection, such as carbon pricing, pollution control measures, and sustainable land use practices.

    Efforts to Reduce the Impact of the World Wide Web

    Several initiatives are underway to reduce the environmental impact of the World Wide Web:

    • Improving data center efficiency. Data centers are working to improve their energy efficiency through various measures, such as using virtualization technologies, optimizing cooling systems, and employing renewable energy sources.
    • Promoting cloud computing. Cloud computing can help reduce the environmental impact of IT infrastructure by consolidating resources and improving energy efficiency.
    • Developing energy-efficient web technologies. Research is ongoing to develop web technologies that are more energy-efficient, such as reducing the size of web pages and optimizing data transmission protocols.

    Conclusion

    VPNs and antivirus software are valuable tools for protecting our digital privacy and security. However, their use does have an environmental impact. By taking steps to reduce the energy consumption of these applications and supporting broader environmental initiatives, we can minimize their impact on our planet.

    Regards

    Life happens, Coffee helps!

    Show your Attitude, when you reach that Altitude!

    Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus (user)

  • Hi,

    ''The exact amount of energy consumed depends on various factors; the VPN provider the encryption protocol used...'’

    How is Bitdefender VPN different to non-Bitdefender VPNs in energy consumption?

    What encryption protocol with Bitdefender VPN may minimise damage to our natural environment?

    However, studies have shown that VPN usage can increase energy consumption by up to 20%.

    This 20% - where is this consumed(?);

    how much is on a device/ server/ data centre,

    how much of this is in the hands, so to say, of Bitdefender people (off-device)

    ?

    I would like to see links to view information of these studies.


    What will Bitdefender people be doing today and in their future to;

    support renewable energy sources

    promote sustainable practices

    advocate for environmental policies

    developing energy-efficient web technologies


    What are the people at Bitdefender really looking to change to protect and minimise damage to our natural environment and resources?

    If a Bitdefender VPN user takes an individual action to attempt to minimise damage to our natural environment,

    say in connecting to a certain ISP/ server/ data centre/ certain infrastructure,

    how can Bitdefender people really work with them to ensure this has the maximum effect?


  • Gjoksi
    Gjoksi DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2022 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hello.

    Maybe @Alexandru_BD AKA The-Middle-Man or @Mike_BD AKA The-Business-Trip-Man (they both work for Bitdefender) can share some info with you and us.

    Regards.

  • Hello @JMng and welcome to the Community!

    Check if this detailed report answers your questions:

    https://www.bitdefender.com/content/dam/bitdefender/business/ar/Sustainability_Report_2021.pdf

    Regards,

    Alex

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user


  • To assess the environmental costs of the VPN app and Bitdefender applications, we need to gather specific data. Explore options to quantify environmental impact and consider eco-friendly alternatives. Bitdefender may not display real-time environmental costs, but monitoring overall energy usage and efficiency can be explored. Users can minimize emissions by adjusting settings, scheduling scans during low-usage times, and supporting initiatives that reduce the environmental impact of online activities.

  • JMng
    JMng Air
    edited December 2023

    Thanks Gjoksi, @Alexandru_BD@Mike_BD (wEas65),

    my concern is I am able to view only limited information from Bitdefender in my use of VPN.

    Let's take sending a single email (this one).

    Factors mitigating damage to natural environment:

    I may (opt to) use an email service using (more) servers with control of their energy consumption (than alternates),

    In Advance

    I may've been able to opt for an ISP with some sustainability credentials.

    In researching for answers (to this email) on the web I may opt to use certain Data Centers and internet browsers supporting (and applying) environmentally activity within sustainable policy.

    Once I've completed these actions and I am now focused on one thing, my next click..

    What now are my options to mitigate damage to natural environments?

    • Will all my decisions amount to the ('line' of) least damage (of all options using Bitdefender VPN)?
    • Will my signal / 'data transition' travel in the (shortest) path possible?
    • Have I missed any settings that may move this toward (the shortest possible path) and/(or) through the network doing the least environmental damage?

    Is there a possibility ALL those factors (in aim of my 'one-click' using Bitdefender VPN) are in fact counter-acted

    Bitdefender inadvertently/ inadvisably circumvents the transmission along a lengthier (more energy demanding) path/ through less environmentally supportive networks.

    If so, what are the chances within that possibility?

    What options can you offer today and in the future to align those steps (so-to-say) to give certain confidences and or more fixed guarantees a single transmission is 'on-target'?

    If an

    estimate that we use 60% processing and storage power in the cloud and 40% on our own servers in data centers based in Romania

    is true for this (this) one transmission, how 'on-target' is the transmission within the (60%) cloud, how on-target is it if to the (40%) servers through Romania??

    Can Bitdefender offer a setting/ 'button'/package for users to select, for a more eco-friendly VPN transmission?


  • I don't know where to start. I personally think there are other more efficient ways of protecting the environment than looking at a VPN.

    Of course, if we are talking efficiency, common sense tells us to use the VPN only when we need it and disconnect when offline, to avoid unnecessary battery consumption of your device, because this means you will have to charge it more often and this translates to a higher impact on the environment, right?

    Another best practice is to connect to a server closest to you.

    Although VPNs are a great way to counter privacy violations, they have some drawbacks, and one of them is slowing down your connection. This can happen because VPNs redirect your traffic through remote servers, which can cause delays - the farther the servers are, the longer the delay.

    Let’s assume a fiber-optic network: in this scenario, latency refers to the time it takes light to travel through the network. This latency increases over the distance traveled. Considering that the speed of light is 299,792,458 meters per second, the latency is 3.33 microseconds for every kilometer covered.

    Considering the refractive index of the fiber cable, it makes sense to say that light travels slower in it, which brings the latency up to 4.9 microseconds per kilometer. Not all network infrastructures are based on fiber optics, so it’s safe to assume that connecting to a distant VPN server can affect your connection speed even more than our hypothetical scenario.

    Another thing to note when it comes to efficiency and environmental impact is that in some countries, there are also virtual locations and this means that servers are hosted in other parts and plug in specific IPs so that you can actually connect to the desired country, but these are very few and designed only as a backup in some countries, depending on the available infrastructure. The location is chosen randomly, but also based on server load in your area or surrounding areas. If VPN servers are under heavy use in Canada, for example, the location will move further and further away until it finds a server that is less strained. This will help streamline the connections and will ensure proper network speeds are met. This practice may also help mitigate damage to natural environment to some extent, but to be honest, I think it's difficult to calculate exactly and come up with numbers here.

    To conclude, what you can do to get an efficient and reliable connection is to:

    1. Make sure you are connected to the right server. The farther the server is from your location, the slower the connection will be and the longer it’ll take to transmit data to the external VPN server.
    2. Use the VPN only when required. Keeping your VPN on all the time is OK, however it may also slow down your connection and drain your device’s battery faster.

    Personally, I don't think there will be such an eco-friendly setting for the VPN, because this is a software after all and not a physical machine. If it would have been a car, you could have selected the eco-drive mode, where you burn less fuel and drive more economically. Again, it's just my personal view on this. There are other things that happen in the background and the infrastructure is of course designed with the environment in mind.

    I think the first and perhaps one of the most important steps that helps mitigate the impact a software has on the environment is to give up packaging and paper, something that has been done here. Everything is being delivered by means of electronic communication, and printing is done at the smallest level possible around here.

    I may have not provided a conclusive answer, but it's just my take on this.

    Regards

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Scott
    Scott Defender of the month mod
    edited December 2023

    @Alexandru_BD ..thank you, as I've posted twice along this same line (below quote), but have deleted both posts as you all were posting such diplomatic replies on your, Bitdefender's forum, that I wanted to respect that, as well as @JMng questions.

    I don't know where to start. I personally think there are other more efficient ways of protecting the environment than looking at a VPN.

    Yes, IMO, I think there are greater concerns out there regadaring the enviroment, as well as others, no?


    All Bitdefender Home Product User Guides:https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/user-guides/

  • Flexx
    Flexx DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2023 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭ mod

    Sorry for this, but I'm still trying to understand why you're so concerned about VPNs related to natural environment protection. I have a question: have you also contacted other antimalware vendors like Norton, Avast, ESET, AVG, Kaspersky, etc., which also offer VPN products? What about standalone VPN providers like Hotspot Shield, NordVPN, HideMyAss, CyberGhost, etc.?

    Additionally, I'd like to inform you that Bitdefender VPN uses the engine of Hotspot Shield. I believe that any information related to natural environment protection can be obtained from them, as they provide the VPN servers for the Bitdefender VPN product.

    Regards

    Life happens, Coffee helps!

    Show your Attitude, when you reach that Altitude!

    Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus (user)

  • Scott
    Scott Defender of the month mod
    edited December 2023

    That is pretty much word for word in one of my posts I previously took down. Well stated, @Flexx

    👍️

    All Bitdefender Home Product User Guides:https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/user-guides/